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The Chateaux of the Loire

There are many chateaux in the Loire. Here are just a few which can be visited.

One of the most beautiful renaissance chateaux is the Chateau de Chenonceau. It is situated on the River Cher and stretches into the river on beautiful arches. Open all year from 9am with closing from 4pm depending on the time of year.

      

 

Chambord             One of the most recognisable chateaux in the world, Chateau de Chambord, is also one of the largest in the Loire with over 400 rooms. Commissioned in 1519 by Francois I as a hunting lodge it blends traditional French architecture with influences from the Italian classics.

                                    

 

With its beautiful turrets Chateau de Chaumont  was built on a cliff above the Loire and has been used as a chateau-fort since the 10th century. Once owned by Catherine de Medici where she is said to have entertained astronomers including Nostradamus. It is open throughout the year.

 

  

D'Amboise

  Chateau d'Amboise home of many French Kings including Louis XI. Leonardo de Vinci visited in 1515, then lived and worked in the nearby Clos Luce which is connected by an underground passage. It is said he is buried in the Chapel of Saint-Hubert which adjoins the Chateau. Opens daily throughout the year.

                          

 

Chateau de Villandry              Chateau de Villandry has been recently restored and refurnished and has a real elegance. However, it is more well known for featuring one of France's best examples of a formal Renaissance Garden, they stage different exhibitions and events. Open daily from mid-Feb to mid-Nov.

 

 

Chateau de Beauregard               Chateau de Beauregard built as a hunting lodge and used by Kings. It contains a Portrait Gallery of over 320 portraits, which has made this chateau famous. Open daily from 9.30, closed Wednesdays in the winter.

 

 

Azay-le-Rideau            One of the earliest renaissance, turreted Chateaux, Chateau Azay-le-Rideau it is built on an island in the Indre River, remarkably the foundations rise straight out of the water. It is open daily from 10am, earlier in the summer and contains a fabulous staircase.

 

 Cheverney

              Chateau de Cheverney built in the period of Louis XIII ,was used by the Belgian writer Herge as the design for the Chateau de Moulinsart (Marlinspike Hall) in the Adventures of Tintin books. Open daily throughout the year.